How to Influence Positive Behavior in Children: 4 Steps
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Always stay calm when dealing with challenging behavior.

The preschool years offer many academic preparations for kindergarten, but also provide a time for social development. During this time, your little one will observe others and inevitably pick up behaviors, both good and bad. Though preschool children now have more outside influences, parents still hold primary responsibility of raising emotionally successful children. That may sound like a lot of pressure, but don't sweat it. Use common occurrences as teachable moments for influencing positive behaviors in your little one.


  1. 1
    Model appropriate manners and etiquette constantly to influence positive behavior in small children. Remember that preschool children take their social cues from you and quickly adopt your behaviors and attitudes. Of course, we all fall off the wagon occasionally, but if you can manage your road rage and show kindness to others, your child will have a natural positive demeanor.
  2. 2
    Display social situations for your preschooler using stories and puppets, giving him an outside perspective regarding behavior. Get silly, act out a dispute between two puppets and ask your kiddo to provide fair and peaceful solutions to the problem. Use books as well to illustrate proper behaviors. After reading popular stories, ask questions like, "Why was the girl sad?" or "How can her friends make her feel better?"
  3. 3
    Surround your child with peers who have traits and behaviors that leave a good impression. Stay involved during playdates and get to know your kiddo's little buddies. If you see recurring negative behaviors in a certain playmate that may rub off on your child, avoid future get-togethers with that particular friend. Also, discuss with your preschooler what behaviors make for a successful friendship and encourage him to stand up for himself.
  4. 4
    Redirect your child in a positive manner rather than scolding or pointing out negative behaviors, whenever possible. Stifle that urge to scream and offer a calm response instead. Though it may seem silly, try whispering instead. This will capture the interest of your little one without frightening or belittling him.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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